Types of Portuguese Sausage

Sausage from blood image by Sidoroff from Fotolia.com

The Portuguese have a wide array of sausages, reflecting the influences, culture and history of the region through the centuries. Portuguese sausages are known the world over and are featured in many dishes that represent each part of their culinary history.


Portuguese chourico is similar to Spanish chorizo. This sausage is made with pork tenderloin, pork fat, sweet paprika, garlic, salt and piri piri, which is a type of chili pepper. Wine is added to sausage after it marinates a few days in the spices. Different recipes call for either white or red wine to give the sausage a slightly different taste and color. The sausage is stuffed into natural pig casing. Chourico is often put in stews or added to other sausages.


Portuguese linguica sausage is made from pork butt along, paprika, garlic, chili pepper, cinnamon, all spice, cloves and vinegar. The pork is chopped into pieces rather than ground. Linguica is often sold in links or patties, and is an ingredient in rustic soups and casseroles. can be found for sale in links or patties. Linguica and chourico can be used intechangeably in many Portuguese dishes.


Morcela is also known as blood sausage. Morcela is made using beef blood, pork fat, onions, garlic and spices. Morcela is dark in color and is also called black pudding. Morcela is traditionally sold in a ring shape. Morcela can be eaten on its own or cooked in omelets or beans.


Alheira is a bread sausage created by Portuguese Jews during the Inquisition to avoid persecution. Jewish tradition forbids eating pork, so alheira is made with any other type of meat mixed with bread. The sausage mixture is spiced and smoked. Alheira, which is sold in a u-shape, can be eaten on sandwiches and it is often served with fried eggs.


Botelo is a sausage made from pig leftovers stuffed into an intestine.The sausage can be made with tongue, ribs, bones and tail. It is seasoned and smoked and often added to stews.


Similar to alheira, farinheira is another Portuguese Jewish sausage. It is made from wheat flour, seasonings, and white wine. Farinheira is made with pork fat for additional flavoring. It can be eaten on its own, roasted or fried. It is also commonly served with eggs.